GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN (Germany), June 16 — Scotland manager Steve Clarke said Sunday that he had to “kick a couple of backsides” and “give a couple of cuddles” after his side’s humiliating 5-1 defeat to Germany to open Euro 2024.

Clarke accepted responsibility for a failed tactical plan as the host nation ran riot against the 10-man Scots in Munich on Friday night.

“I’ve spoken to the players about what I feel was wrong from my side and what I gave them,” Clarke told reporters.

“I think their interpretation of what we asked them to do was wrong, so we’ve worked on that.

“I had a little chat with a lot of them on the training pitch this morning. Just to try to put one or two things in their head about things they maybe didn’t do on the pitch that they should have done.”

Scotland have never made it out of the group stage at a major tournament in 11 attempts.

An estimated 200,000 of the Tartan Army have made the trip to Germany and Clarke retains hope his side can bounce back with easier tasks against Switzerland and Hungary to come in Group A.

“We believe in ourselves — there’s no danger of that,” he added. “We know it was a bad night.

“We have to accept all the criticism that comes our way and then we have to put it right. To be in football, you have to be very resilient.

“They understand they have let everybody down, they are disappointed, but they know they have to be up for the next game because that is the nature of football.”

The Swiss, who beat Hungary 3-1 in their opening game, are Scotland’s next opponents in Cologne on Wednesday. — AFP